As a nurse, acquiring and maintaining your required licenses is no small feat. If you want to go the extra mile, there are many additional certifications that can increase your value and help you find your niche.
Why get certified?
Having a voluntary certification on top of your nursing license is a great way to stand out in the medical profession. You will have the opportunity to explore different specialties, which can open doors for your career in the future.
Nurses with extra certifications tend to earn more on average than nurses with the minimum licensure for their state. You may also qualify for new roles based on your certification.
Additionally, patients feel even more secure in the care of certified nurses. It shows a commitment to learning and providing the best possible care.
Depending on what type of nurse you are, there are many different options for certification programs.
RNs can complete a Trauma Nursing Care Course, which will prepare you to treat trauma patients and work in many ERs. Depending on where you work, your hospital may pay for your Trauma Nursing certification, which normally costs around $300.
If you are drawn to pediatrics, you can obtain a Pediatric Advanced Life Support certificate, which demonstrates your ability to resuscitate and stabilize infants and children. This certificate can allow you to continue exploring the pediatric field, or simply broaden your medical knowledge.
For a unique specialization, you can pursue an Advanced Diabetes Management certification. With this certificate, you can treat and monitor patients with diabetes, as well as provide lifestyle counseling to determine appropriate diet and exercise.
Medical Technology is always evolving, and informatics nurses are at the forefront of new technological developments. With an informatics in nursing certification, you can work directly with new medical technology, as well as manage medical data. This contributes to the smooth functioning of hospitals and clinics across the country.
Licensed Vocational Nurses
There are many practical certifications available to LVNs, some of which are very valuable for hospital roles.
Some certifications you can get are broadly applicable to many types of patient care. Pharmacology, IV Therapy, Wound Care, and Advanced Cardiac Support can all greatly expand your opportunities as an LVN.
There are also more specialized certifications available to you. For example, you can obtain multiple certifications to provide kidney treatment. These include Nephrology, Hemodialysis, and Peritoneal Dialysis. There is also a Breastfeeding Support certification, for addressing post-delivery feeding issues and teaching new mothers how to feed their newborns.
Certified Nurse Assistants
Depending on which state you work in, you can obtain a higher CNA certification, with some programs offering CNA II and CNA III certificates. Different hospitals around the US will require different levels of CNA certification from their nurses and obtaining a higher level will expand your options.
As a CNA, you can become a Patient Care Technician. PCTs perform tasks for patients who need assistance with daily living, conduct phlebotomy procedures, and monitor vital signs.
You also have the option of obtaining a Medication Aide certification. This will allow you to administer medication to patients and can help you land a position in a facility that frequently dispenses medication.
To enhance your marketability as an MA, you can take the Certified Medical Assistant exam. This certificate is widely recognized and highly valuable for MAs. Alternatively, you can take the Registered Medical Assistant exam, which is very similar, if slightly less recognized.
If you are more drawn to assisting physicians with patient care directly, you can become a National Certified MA or Certified Clinical MA. These certifications focus more on physiology and medical procedures than office administration.
Occupational Therapy covers a wide range of specialties, and there are certifications in almost every one of them.
Depending on your area of expertise, you can become certified in Low Vision, Hand Therapy, Brain Injury, School Systems, Stroke Rehabilitation, Seating and Mobility, and many more specialties. Keep in mind that some certifications require prior experience in the field, while others only require certain educational credits.
One certification that applies to many niches is the Assistive Technology Professional certificate. This demonstrates your ability to tailor assistive technology recommendations to your patients’ needs and provide appropriate education for its use.
As with any career decision, it is important to do your research on which certification programs to pursue. There are different prerequisites for each, such as time and monetary commitments. Renewal periods differ between programs. Some certifications are not available in certain states. Be sure to carefully consider your resources and goals before jumping into a certification program.
If you already have a certificate or two on your resume, TheraEx Staffing can help place you in a role that plays to your strengths as a nurse. Contact us with your qualifications – we’d love to hear from you.